Grand jury indicts building owner in deaths of Toledo firefighters

Ray Abou-Arab is seen in court for his arraignment, Monday, Feb. 3, 2014.

The Toledo man police say intentionally set an apartment building fire that killed two firefighters has been indicted by a grand jury on murder and arson charges.

61-year-old Ray Abou-Arab was indicted by a Lucas County grand jury on Friday on two counts of aggravated murder, two counts of murder, eight counts of aggravated arson, and one count of tampering with evidence in the January 26 fire at 528 Magnolia Street.

Toledo firefighters Stephen Machchinski and James Dickman were killed while fighting the blaze.


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Property records confirmed Abou-Arab owns the property in north Toledo where the firefighters were killed.

A complaint filed

last week indicated a witness saw Abou-Arab "enter the garage...where he remained for over a minute."

After the witness saw him exit the garage structure, a resident whose apartment was next to it "noticed the wall of the structure was on fire," according to Toledo Police Detective Deb Hahn.

A Lucas County grand jury today returned a 13-count indictment seeking the death penalty for the owner of a North Toledo apartment building accused of setting a fire that killed two city firefighters.

Ray Abou-Arab, 61, of 1311 Sierra Dr., Oregon, was indicted on two counts of aggravated murder each with death penalty specifications, two counts of murder, eight counts of aggravated arson, and one count of tampering with evidence stemming from the Jan. 26 fire that killed Toledo Fire Pvts. Stephen Machcinski and James Dickman.

Mr. Abou-Arab has been held in the Lucas County jail since Jan. 31 when he was arrested at his home on two counts each of aggravated murder and aggravated arson that were filed in Toledo Municipal Court. Those charges alleged he entered a garage at the Magnolia Street building, spent more than a minute inside, then exited and went inside the Huron Market, which is connected to the apartments.

â??Immediatelyâ?? after he left the garage, the charges allege, the resident of the rear apartment next to the garage spotted a burning wall and called 911. After the deadly fire, investigators said they found â??an ignitable liquidâ?? inside the garage.

Mr. Abou-Arab is being held on a $5 million bond.


Abou-Arab is being held in the Lucas County Jail on a $5 million bond.